Apr 1 2015
The quartet Einem.Art rolls out all kinds of personality on their debut, Lamara. It’s a contemporary fusion recording that takes the fusion part of that equation rather seriously. There’s the hyper-serenity of “Like Waterfalls,” which speaks with an In a Silent Way jazz-rock fusion. There’s the electro-acoustic funk of “Killerberg” that speaks to the modern approach to a retro 70s sound. There’s the post-bop of “Interruptica” that shifts in and out of an electric contemporary jazz groove and “Say What? – What!” that also conveys a modern post-bop, but exploits the benefits of its groove by utilizing it as an undercurrent of motion.
“Manifestor’s Dream” brings a bigger, more intense sound to its space jazz theatrics. “Boilers” takes a similar approach, but is fueled by an indie-rock rhythmic attack. The brisk pace of “Like Shapes” juxtaposed against an easy-going melodic delivery is evidence of the quartet’s ability to take a strongly lyrical route. The ballad “Pure” sticks to straight-ahead jazz territory, but shades the edges of the song with bold colors of other influences, whereas the album finale of “Waltz For Gregor” has the quartet revealing that a standard jazz ballad may just lie at the heart of everything they do. It’s an elegant way to end an album that is wildly effusive pretty much all the time.
The quartet is led out by trombonist Max von Einem. His contributions, whether as soloist or in accompaniment, serve to drive the quartet back to jazz center whenever they threaten to bolt off to the horizon. His counterpart is keyboardist Lucas Leidinger, who is often the rocket fuel that sends the quartet hurtling up, up and away. The bass and drums duo of Juan Camilo Villa and Rodrigo Villalon frame every influence and direction so that changes can be viewed simultaneously in the moment and in the larger picture of album cohesion. They are the reason why this album gives the sense of standing firmly on a patch of solid ground that is constantly in motion.
As far as debuts go, this one holds some promise for more adventurousness on future recordings.
Your album personnel: Max von Einem (trombone), Lucas Leidinger (keys, piano), Juan Camilo Villa (bass) and Rodrigo Villalon (drums).
Listen to more of the album on Soundcloud.
Released on Double Moon Records.
Jazz from the Cologne, Germany scene.